What does Hardship License mean?
A hardship license is a restricted license which is issued by the state, in accordance with statutes or by order of the court, after a driver's license has been suspended or for adolescents between 14 and 16 years of age who have proven they need to drive. There are many reasons a hardship license is not issued. For instance, many drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving and refused to submit to a chemical test of their blood, urine or breath may not be eligible for a hardship license, although state laws vary.
In most states a hardship license may be issued for first time DUI offenders if the court determines the license suspension will result in extreme hardship for the driver. Generally this determination is made after a hearing where the defendant is required to demonstrate hardship. If the hardship license is allowed there are generally restrictions. For instance, the driver may only be allowed to drive at specific times of day, to and from their place of employment, to and from necessary medical treatment for the licensee or a member of the licensee's household, or to and from school. A hardship license is generally not allowed for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle after a drunk driving arrest and chemical test refusal.